Projects

Arapahoe Basin has committed to reducing its environmental footprint. Here are some of the completed projects that will help us achieve our goal.

2003 - Snowmaking System Installed: Completed during the fall of 2003, the highly-efficient, mostly airless snowmaking system was the first major step toward improving the environmental performance of a major operation at the ski area. Along with strict water-use commitments, the new snowmaking system uses only a portion the energy a conventional snowmaking system would.

2012 – Lighting Retrofit: Over 500 light bulbs in our base area and on-mountain facilities were replaced with newer, more efficient bulbs. Incandescent bulbs were upgraded to CFLs and LEDs, while fluorescent T12 bulbs were switched to T8s. These upgrades saved more than 53,000 kWh and 37 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

2013 – 6th Alley Vestibules: The ski area completed a massive upgrade to the 6th Alley Bar & Grill in 2013. The new restaurant incorporated energy-saving vestibules at all entrances. Using two sets of swinging doors, these vestibules prevent cold outside air from infiltrating the building whenever the doors open, leading to significant energy savings.

2014 – Waste-Oil Furnace: A-Basin installed a new furnace in its vehicle and lift maintenance building. The CleanBurn Technologies furnace is able to burn waste motor oil, hydraulic fluid, and other engine waste to heat the building. Through oil changes for our commercial fleet and our personal vehicles, the auxiliary motors on our chairlifts and other sources, we’re able to purchase less and less propane each year. We also limit the need for hauling our waste oil off-site via costly, polluting trucks.

2015 – Kids Center: In March of 2015, A-Basin completed construction of its brand new Kids Center. Housing kids ski school, along with a first aid clinic and ski patrol locker room, the Kids Center incorporated sustainable building practices throughout its design and construction – from efficient heating and cooling systems, to water-saving fixtures, to repurposed barn wood and beetlekill pine. Most notably, the south roof features a 13.5 kW solar array, which produces about 15 MW of solar energy per season.

2015 – FreeAire: In December of 2015, the ski area installed a FreeAire refrigeration economizer one of the A-Frame lodge’s walk-in coolers. The FreeAire system monitors indoor and outdoor temperature, cycling clean mountain air into the cooler whenever the outside air temperature falls below a certain point. By utilizing existing cold air, the walk-in’s evaporator and condenser motors remain idle much of the time; this reduces energy usage, the need to run defrost cycles in the coolers and the need to repair worn down machinery, all of which saves significant energy.

2017 – Solar array at the summit: In October 2017, the ski area installed the ski area's second solar array at the summit, atop the Snowplume Refuge/Patrol Headquarters building. The array consists of 30 solar panels capable of generating 8.26kW of energy, and will provide approximately 95% of the energy that building uses.

For more information about our projects, contact Sha Miklas, Senior Manager of Sustainability, at sha@a-basin.net or Mike Nathan, Sustainability Manager, at miken@a-basin.net.

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After an incredible year at A-Basin, we can't wait for a groundbreaking 2017-18 ski and ride season.
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